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My name is David L Cook, and I am the Executive Board President of the Artists Music Guild. For many years I had been encouraged by my peers to help start an organization that helped artists and protected them from a predatory industry. At first I tried to help other organizations to accomplish this goal, however, it became clear that these individuals did not need my help because their organizations were perfect and why fool around with perfection right? Then after having others misinterpret my offerings I finally said, “enough is enough!” So, on January 1, 2011, I and several of my other corporate friends flung open the doors of the AMG and the wheels were set into motion. Soon we hope to use the term, “The rest is history,” but right now we are too busy making the history!

So, with that said, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome each and every one of you. We hope that you will enjoy being a part of an organization that cares about you as an artist and as a person. Included in this handbook you will find our rules and outlines as to how the Guild functions. You will fully understand what you can expect from the Guild as a member and what we expect from you as a professional. It is my sincerest hope that we will experience many years of service and fellowship with each other and to move the artistic industry back into a place where artists are free of career dangers and pitfalls from unscrupulous practices.

The Artists Music Guild was established to help in the understanding, appreciation and to advance the contributions of the arts to American culture — from the artistic genius’ of the current day; to the technical legends of the past; and to those still unimagined artistic breakthroughs of future generations. The Guild accomplishes this mission through programs and activities that engage the artistic and cultural community as well as the general public. The Guild works in partnership year-round with artists to bring national attention to important issues such as the value, integrity, protection and impact of the arts and education. We also emphasize the urgency of preserving our rich cultural heritage for the generations that will follow us.

As a preeminent organization for musicians; producers; dancers; painters; authors; and other industry professionals, our mission is to advance artists and technical excellence; work to ensure a free creative environment; and act as an advocate on behalf of the Arts and its creators.

The Guild's main focus is to educate and assist artists to meet the right individuals who work with the artists to meet their career goals. The AMG is not a booking agent, manager, or career developer but, rather, an organization which networks its members with one another and industry professionals in an effort to better focus and manage their careers themselves, without relying on others to do so.

The members of the AMG help not only build a brand for their own artistry but also a brand for the Guild, because the Guild belongs to the membership

All professional organizations such as the Grammys, Emmys, Oscars, CMAs, Tonys require payment of dues from their members. Not only do the Artists Music Guild members pay dues, but our Adminstrative and Executive Boards of Directors also pay dues. The Guild, just as any other business, must utilize our funds to keep offices running efficiently and invest in our artists to assist them in furthering their careers.

All active and non-active members are required to follow the standards of personal, professional, and business ethics. Following all applicable laws and regulations is expected. Members are required to uphold the AMG's values sacred and commit to, within ethical means, assist other artists of the artist community who may have made ethical mistakes. The AMG does not condone nor will it accept responsibility of said ethical mistakes.

The AMG will stand by its members who deal with issues that arise. Continuation of ethical mistakes could be grounds for membership cancellation. Members are required and expected to maintain honesty and integrity in all business endeavors at all times.

Guild Leadership realizes that situations may arise from time to time and is prepared to support its members. However, we will never condone dishonesty, gossip, cheating, theft, or acts of cruelty toward other artists; fans; employers; or any issues of civil infractions that are against the Guild Rules of Ethics and legal accountability.

In a world of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, etc.), members must refrain from making negative statements regarding the AMG; its leadership; or fellow members. Violations of these ethics could result in revocation of membership and possible legal actions (see Conflict section).

We encourage members to share and learn from one another through being an active member of our social network and attending the Convention & Heritage Awards and other AMG-sponsored events. This will create an improvement in the skills and maturity of every art group or form, thus advancing the overall health and prosperity of the Guild and artistic community as a whole.

The Guild exhaustively and proudly aligns our members with business partners and service providers who possess the highest of excellence who offer Guild members products and services to further their careers.

Members and/or members' management companies are free to negotiate with the Service Providers, as the Guild will intervene only when asked by either or both parties.

If there are issues in the Guild community with any service providers, the Guild holds them responsible and will work to ensure the artist's and service provider's safety, as well as protection of the AMG itself.

All matters will be held in the strictest of confidentiality.

If a member or Service Provider is removed from the Guild, any business dealings between the parties shall cease. Service Providers shall have dealings only with AMG members in good standing. Violation of this rule shall constitute immediate cancellation of Guild affiliation.

The Guild is designed to assist artists within its membership to demonstrate the ability to create exemplary work in their chosen field. This encompasses individual professionals as well as newbies. These guidelines are established and put in place so that the organization and the member both will have a sense of order within the organization that each are involved with. For those of us who are helping to develop these guidelines we want to release the fear of artists not knowing what is expected of them and reassuring the organization that members will represent the heart of the organization. These guidelines are designed to protect both them and the company. AMG will make these guidelines a mandatory part of membership, with disciplinary implications if they step out of the rules of the guidelines.
A: Membership Dues and Fees
  • The Guild requires that all members including active board members to pay dues and applicable fees on a yearly basis.
  • These dues and fees are outlined on the membership page of the Guild’s website.
  • Failure to pay applicable dues will result in the termination of your Guild membership and participation in any Guild sanctioned functions.
  • Membership dues are to be paid no later than the 15th of January in each calendar year.
  • All membership dues are automatically renewed on the 15th of January of each year. Credit card information is stored on our server’s platform and the Guild does not retain this information. Cancellation of membership or auto renew must be done in writing to our membership coordinator no less than 90 days before renewal. No refunds will be granted after January 15th for any reason. Members who are charged for membership on January 15th who are wishing to cancel their membership must still submit in writing their desire to cancel. However, their membership will remain active until the following renewal.
  • Members who are performing as a group must pay for individual memberships as each person is treated as an individual and qualify for benefits as individuals. Groups with more than 3 members will receive tier pricing per additional member
B: Participation in Guild functions
  • The AMG will hold several functions throughout the year and it is a strong encouragement that all AMG active members attend or support these functions
  • The AMG Convention and AMG Heritage Awards will always be held on the second weekend of November and will be housed at the Monroe Crossings Mall located at 2115 W. Roosevelt Blvd, Monroe, NC 28110
  • The convention is for the benefit of its artistic members and said members are encouraged to attend the convention in support.
  • Members who do not participate or miss three consecutive annual Guild conventions will not be permitted membership renewal.
  • Whatever the members talent outlet, the Guild is committed to providing an outlet for that artistic medium at our conventions.
  • Requests for convention fee refunds must be made before 90 days of the event or your requests will be denied. (The Guild pays for all of its convention contracts 90 days before the event.)
  • Members are responsible for their own expenses such as travel, convention expenses, hotel and food. (Unless otherwise offered)
C: Mentoring in the Guild
  • All professional artists who are in good standing will be required to be a part of the Guild’s Mentorship Program. This program is designed in a way that allows all professional level members to have hands on teaching opportunities to those artists in lower level membership groups.
  • Members in need of mentoring have the responsibility of contacting responsible board member to officiate proper placement with professional members.
  • The purpose of this program is to allow starter artists and artists without formal training the opportunity to hone their skills and learn the values and secrets of the trade that will help them in the years to come through their careers.
  • The mentorship program is not to be taken lightly or to be abused by any member.
Professional members may be asked to allow lower level members to help in the following areas:
  1. Opening concerts when in a specific area
  2. Help in the sale of product and the setting up of product tables
  3. Helping in the setting of the stage and performance areas
  4. Helping to guide in the issues of booking and promotions
  5. Teaching artists the proper way to dress appropriately for respective artistic outlet
  6. Suggesting how an artist should address an audience in a concert or artistic outlet setting
  7. The choosing of proper performance materials
  8. Teaching and mentoring at public and private schools
  9. Teaching and mentoring during the AMG conventions or functions
Professional members shall not be permitted to do the following:
  1. Use or abuse any services of a lower level member
  2. Suggest anything that may cause an ethical issue or be of wrong character for any member of the Guild
  3. Engage in any activity that would cause a hardship to the lower level member
  4. Give any type of legal or career advice that could harm that members reputation or ability to earn a living in their respective field
  5. Allow a lower level member to act in an inappropriate manner while representing the Guild
  6. Engage in the rebuke of a lower level member without the council and approval of the Board of Directors
  7. Divulge or share any information about any artist that is said or shared during the time of mentorship.
  8. All relationships between the artists and mentors will be governed by the rules of ethics section as stated in this handbook.

Professional members are to be the epitome of respect and honesty. It is the responsibility of ALL professional members to help in a way that builds character in ones craft as well as the Guild.

D: Conflicts
  1. All conflicts between Guild members, Service Providers, Board Members or outside issues are to be handled amongst yourselves.
  2. Should an issue arise that cannot be handled between parties it must be brought immediately to the president of the board of directors. The president will act as a mediator and try to resolve the issue without the use of the Executive board of directors
  3. Should the president be unable to resolve the issue, he will be required to refer the issue to the executive board of directors for final resolve. The decision of the executive board of directors will be final and non-appealable.
  4. Should you get into a conflict with a fellow member, you are not to make public statements regarding the conflict and you will not be permitted to spread rumor of the conflict within the membership. Any evidence that leads the board to believe this has transpired will be dealt with immediately and offending member (possibly both parties) may have their membership revoked.
  5. Conflicts that arise between members, partners or service providers that are referred to the board of directors will be dealt with in an expedient and professional manner. Once resolved it will be the responsibility to the Guild to help restore relations between offending parties as to promote and produce a healthy working environment.


To submit entries for the AMG Heritage Awards, you are not required to be an AMG member. As well, you do not need to be an AMG member to be nominated. However, once the submissions have been completed and confirmed, only active AMG members may continue in the voting process.

The "Call for Entries" allows up to (10) nominations in each category. All submissions are tracked for quality purposes and multiple nominations will be deleted. Once a ballot has been submitted, it cannot be modified in any way. The Guild reserves the right to remove or disqualify any entry which is inappropriate or does not qualify for said category.

Artists are not permitted to campaign for nominations or votes. Any artist found doing so will be automatically disqualified from the ballot.


You may nominate any artists or groups inside or outside of the Guild.
Artists participating in the Call for Entries process are not permitted to campaign for nominations or votes. Individuals caught participating in such activity will be automatically disqualified from the ballot.


  1. AMG members and the general public may submit their suggestions in the Call for Entries. The AMG will announce the start and end dates through social media and an on the AMG website.
  2. Upon closure of the Call for Entries, the AMG Artistic Committee will receive the entries to confirm eligibility. Dates of eligibility are from the previous January 1 through the current year January 31. If this criteria is not met, the entry will be removed from nomination consideration.
  3. Once the Call for Entries are properly screened, nominations will be placed into a separate voting format for AMG members only and a voting deadline will be set in place.
  4. After the AMG members voting deadline is reached, the Guild's Artistic Committee will review all nominations and place them into a Top 10 Nominee format. This will be forwarded to the President of the Artistic Committee and announced to AMG members and the general public. Top 10 Nominees are permitted to share their nomination on all social media outlets; however, any graphics designed by the Guild in announcing the Top 10 should be credited to the AMG.

    Those in the Top 10 will be required to submit an example of his/her/their work for that specific category online in formats listed on the submission website, by the deadline listed. NO SUBMISSIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED AFTER THE DEADLINE!

    Songs, album, and video MUST be submitted for the specific nomination. Album may be one submission or a compilation of several cuts from the project … that is up to the artist to decide.
  5. The accountant for the Heritage Awards will randomly select (26) AMG members in good standing as "Lead Judges" of the voting committee. These lead judges will be assigned a category and select (6) NON-AMG members (or anyone associated with the AMG) to be a part of his/her judging team. AT NO TIME SHALL ANY LEAD JUDGE OR MEMBER JUDGE SHARE THEIR AFFILIATION IN THIS. Each judge will be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement. The Lead Judge cannot encourage or suggest to the (6) member judges anything about any of the category's nominees. The Lead Judge will simply acknowledge the assigned passcodes and judging format to each member judge. The AMG membership must NEVER know who these individuals are/were.
  6. The judging committees will review the Top 10 submissions online after receiving these nominations from the President of the Artistic Committee. The judges will review each nomination, giving a 1-10 grade to each (10 being the best and 1 being the least favorite). JUDGES WILL NOT CONTACT THE AMG WHILE VOTING, unless there is a voting issue.
  7. Once the online voting has taken place and the deadline met, the accounting firm will calculate all votes to determine the Top 5 in each category and the award recipient. THE TOP 5 IS NOT RELEASED … until being announced as the "Finalists" during the AMG Heritage Awards. The accounting firm is present at the Awards show and certifies the authenticity of the ballots, nominees, and recipients.
  8. All nominees MUST be in attendance at the AMG Heritage Awards Show. Non-attendance will forfeit your nomination. Refusal to confirm or inability by the Artists Music Guild to reach a nominee will result in disqualification of the nomination.

    NOTE: Retro Artist of the Year can sometimes be received posthumously. The Guild would be most honored if family members of the nominee would be in attendance. There are also instances of someone not being able to travel due to ill health in this category. In that case, nominations are still valid.

  9. Nominations in multiple categories must be valid. For example, someone nominated in the "New Artist" category would not qualify for "Male" or "Female" Artist of the Year, unless he/she has achieved substantial media coverage or airplay on mainstream radio outlets that has generated substantial income to the artist.
Pastoral and Travel Care Services
The Guild understands that our members may need pastoral care while on the road … whether you are a Christian or secular artist … as road travel can be extreme, hard and, oft times, discouraging. The Guild proudly offers 24/7 pastoral care to our members. Ministers and counselors are AMG members and available in all 50 states to counsel and minister.

If you have a specific religious preference, please inform our Care Director. If you prefer, we can also access a secular counselor with no religious affiliation. We are here to meet your needs!

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